Everyday household and personal hygiene products can wreak havoc on your plumbing, plug up the treatment plant's equipment or contain materials that pass through the treatment plant directly to the Bay.
No matter if the label says "disposable" or "flushable," never flush these items.
flushable wipes (they’re not so flushable!)
sanitary napkins, tampons and applicators
paper towels and rags
kitty litter and doggy waste bags
These things do not break down in the sewer. Instead, they tangle and clump and the debris creates massive obstructions that can lead to sewer back-ups.
What can be flushed? Only two things: human waste and toilet paper.
What to keep out of the drain
Some household products should never be poured down indoor or outdoor drains.
Cleaning and gardening products may contain chemicals that wastewater treatment cannot fully remove and will pollute San Francisco Bay.
Medicines, unwanted or expired, should not be flushed down the toilet. Pharmaceutical drugs cannot be fully removed by traditional wastewater treatment. They may contain substances with unknown or harmful effects on San Francisco Bay aquatic life. Instead, safely get rid of them at a designated collection site.
Pretreatment and pollution prevention programs help industries and businesses reduce the discharge of pollutants to the community sewer and ultimately the Bay. Certain businesses and activities are required to obtain a permit or to implement best management practices to help with Bay protection.